Toiling Away

Women are expected to look after the house and go out to work - and at the same time comply with social traditions that restrict their freedom.

Toiling Away

Women are expected to look after the house and go out to work - and at the same time comply with social traditions that restrict their freedom.

Monday, 4 December, 2006
Ammar Salih spoke to Asma al-Hassan, editor of a local newspaper in Basra. She believes that duties at home should not hinder her career and she strives to balance the two. But with the escalating violence, she says she's just grateful to wake up in the morning.



Arif Ali highlighted the plight of rural women in Diala Province. Sajida Mohammed said that she used to get up early to prepare breakfast for her husband and two children before going to work on her husband’s vegetable farm. She would then go home to make lunch for the family before returning to the farm in the afternoon. Rural women such as Sajida have been criticised for blindly obeying their husbands and having little influence on decision making within the family.



Zahra al-Asady spent a day with Zahida Abdulkareem, who has returned from exile in Iran and is now a feminist activist in Sulaimanya. Since her husband’s death, she combines looking after her four children with supporting Iraqi women in their struggle for women’s rights.



Razaw Sherif from the non-governmental organisation Heartland has challenged the traditional domestic role of women in Iraq by sharing the job of breadwinner with her husband. However, she is still excluded from decision-making within the family, a sanction she views as a form of domestic violence against women.

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